Electric Brake Controller.

Submitted: Friday, Oct 22, 2004 at 17:51
ThreadID: 121528 Views:7794 Replies:6 FollowUps:4
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We have just changed our tow vehicle, and would like to know which is the best electric brake controller to fit to the car. (Patrol 4x4 ) We have used the Kelsey before and any vibration moved the pendulum, rendering the brakes on the van useless. Has anyone got any idea's. We are told that the Techonsha is a good one, but when I rang a couple of caravan dealers, ( Golf & Jayco) they said that they only sold the Hayman Reese ones, because they had been troubled by the Techonsha. Now they may be dealers for the Hayman Reese, so of course they are going to try and sell me their brand. An independant opinion would be appreciated. Thanks, regards, Keith & Joan.
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Reply By: Motley - Friday, Oct 22, 2004 at 17:59

Friday, Oct 22, 2004 at 17:59
Have used a tekonsha Prodigy since collecting the van. Never had a problem with it.

The ability to dial up brake power, pre-set a brake boost level for when the brakes are initially applied and a manual slide contral to allow you to gently apply brakes on van without touching the brakes in the tow vehicle are all features which in my opinion, are invaluable when towing a van of the size and weight of a Bushtracker.


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AnswerID: 565161

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Oct 22, 2004 at 18:27

Friday, Oct 22, 2004 at 18:27
Dont pay any more than $270 for a Prodigy. All other controllers don't come nearer than a bulls roar to the Prodigy. Email me and I will tell you where to get it.
AnswerID: 565162

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Oct 22, 2004 at 19:59

Friday, Oct 22, 2004 at 19:59
There were some issues with Prodigy and earlyish BTs. Either a diode or resistor in the wiring harness .5-1 metre or so back from the BT plug (that goes into vehicle)? It has to be removed ??

Brian might be able to shed some light on the issue if there is one ???

A call to BTi with regard to fitting the Prodigy to your year model might be worth the telstra donation.

AnswerID: 565163

Follow Up By: Motley - Friday, Oct 22, 2004 at 20:10

Friday, Oct 22, 2004 at 20:10
The diode was wired into the plug on the Bt so that if the van broke free and activated the emergency brake, the breke lights on the van would come on. It doesn't affect the operation of the prodigy, but it did affect diagnostics. If the prodigy determines that the circuit to the brakes on the van is OK, the display shows ".C". With the diode in the plug it shows a faulty circuit. Remove the diode and all is well.

If a Bushtracker has broken free, I think that other drivers will know without needing to see the brake lights!

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Follow Up By:- Saturday, Oct 23, 2004 at 00:26

Saturday, Oct 23, 2004 at 00:26
Thanks Pete !

One other little tip for the planning stage .... The prodigy should be mounted relatively by itself i.e. 30cm away from UHF,HF radios and the like.

This might affect the eventual dashboard mountin/position of the controller ?

Just a thought ...

FollowupID: 843982

Reply By: Cobradave - Saturday, Oct 23, 2004 at 02:40

Saturday, Oct 23, 2004 at 02:40
No such problems with my Hayman Reece controller which worked fine in the Patrol and now in the LC.
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Follow Up By: Keith & Joan - Saturday, Oct 23, 2004 at 02:54

Saturday, Oct 23, 2004 at 02:54
Thank you all so very much for the quick and informative replies. I think I have enough information to make an educated decision now.
The Hayman Reese is half the price of the Prodigy, and by all acounts works very well. The Prodigy seems to be a very good product, but is quite complicated in it's operation / placement / wiring etc. and at twice the cost of a H/R to do the same job. OK, it does the job with flair and all the bells and whistles, but it has been my experience that the more gismos and gadgets there are the more there is to go wrong. I think I will go for the Hayman Reese and play it safe and save some money as well.
Thank you all once again, where else could i have got such good information so quickly, much appreciated. Keith & Joan..
FollowupID: 843983

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Saturday, Oct 23, 2004 at 04:00

Saturday, Oct 23, 2004 at 04:00
In our 80 series we had a Hayman Reese (found it to be a very basic unit that when set for bitumen locked trailer brakes on gravel), in the Toyota 100 series we had Techonsha Voyager (worked much better than Hayman Reese, but hard to set properly).
BOTH of these required the use of lights changing colour to set, and having to test with stopping on flat ground to see if they are adjusted correctly. IF THE SETTING GETS CHANGED ACCIDENTALLY, THEN YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE ENTIRE SETUP AGAIN.

In current F250 we have the latest technology, the Techonsha Prodigy. THIS IS BY FAR THE BEST OF ALL AND WELL WORTH THE EXTRA MONEY. It is digital where the others are analog. To set you simply hold the leaver across then set reading to 6.3amps and you are all set. It then has 3 boost settings which relate to weight of vehicle compared to weight of trailer. The heavier the trailer the higher the boost is set. We never get any lock up and when we are travelling down steep hills or when it is wet I like a bit more boost so all I have to do is push one button and it is set.

Also if your vehicle is an auto and you are backing onto wooden blocks to level the van, when you put the brakes on the van brakes will tend to push the wood away. Because the prodigy is so simple to set up, I just turn the dial down to zero and take all the braking from the van and the van goes up onto the blocks without a problem.

Also if you have grand children, they love playing with knobs and switches and they will no doubt change your brake controller setting. This is where the prodigies easy set up allows you to restore your setting easily.

I think people are making a big mistake by not going for the best, just look at how much money you have invested in tow vehicle and caravan, that all relies on your brake controller to stop you in the emergency, and that may be the difference between crashing or not.

The only people that I have met that don't say the prodigy is worth the money are people who have a lesser model and haven't experienced how much better the prodigy is.

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AnswerID: 565165

Reply By: TroopyTracker - Saturday, Oct 23, 2004 at 05:29

Saturday, Oct 23, 2004 at 05:29
Prodigy is ONLY controller that works proportionally in reverse! That alone should mean alot to BT owners considering some of the places we set up camp! When we picked up BT, Prodigy told me there was a short circuit, 30 seconds later one of blokes helping hook us up had the diode out and we were away. So easy to set up, comes with cd video which I thought was quite informative. Hard to wire in? I did mine myself and I'm no genius, just follow instructions. Tekonsha guys at show where I bought Prodigy($250) told me even the Jayco guys were using them and they wouldn't use anything that could be substituted with something cheaper unless it was well worth it! His words not mine! Although hard to disagree-sorry any Jayco owners!
AnswerID: 565166

Follow Up By:- Saturday, Oct 23, 2004 at 15:47

Saturday, Oct 23, 2004 at 15:47
I have a very disturbing but funny video clip which dramatically demonstrates what can happen when an underbraked rig is going backwards. Email me and I will send it to you. Everyone who tows should see it just for ones' education.
FollowupID: 843984

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